RE: On January 28th, Criminals No Longer Another Face in theTampa Stadium Crowd

From: John Marlow (
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 21:43:45 MST


On 1 Feb 2001, at 21:58, Chris Russo wrote:

> >Because next thing you know it will be used to automatically track
> >the comings and goings of targeted noncriminal individuals.
> Is that really a guaranteed slippery slope? Wasn't the same thing
> said about wire tapping?

**Yes; abuse is rampant.

 As with any law enforcement technology,
> this surveillance equipment will require heavy restrictions upon its
> use.

**Good in theory; never happens in practice.

  In the main, I'd think that it should only be used to search
> for known criminals or suspects under investigation, in which case
> the proper warrants should be required.

**Of course, but see above.

> > Stakeouts
> >are manpower intensive. Not anymore--set up one of these doohickeys,
> >or several, near the target area--and automatically record and ID
> >everyone who comes and goes.
> I would think that storing those records would be illegal, and at
> very least such evidence should be inadmissible in a court of law.

**Of course it would be illegal; never stoped 'em before. being
inadmissible in court, practically speaking, doesn't really matter.
Let's say I wanna nail you because I think you're buying smart-drugs
from Mickey Megabrain. I set the things up, learn your routine, when
you meet him, etc. Using that information, I then time my legitimate
bust of Mickey (based on other evidence) for the sole purpose of
nailing you. I don't need to admit the illegal evidence which led me
to set you up. Nonetheless, the setup was completely

**But even this is not necessary. The courts have already ruled
repeatedly that if you're in a public place, you're subject to being
photographed, even having those photos published without your
permission. Therefore, no warrant required to monitor public places--
through which we must travel to reach private places.

> >Their faces will already be on record
> >>from drivers licenses. Set 'em up outside porno shops, see who
> >visits. Outside areas where political rallies are held. At major
> >intersections. Track everyone, everywhere, all the time--
> >automatically. Then just punch in a name and see where he's been for
> >the past ten years.
> >
> >I'd call those tactics a real problem.
> C'mon, haven't we all come to realize that the whole Orwellian
> scenario never happened and it's unlikely to happen as long as
> citizens don't become total sheep?

**No, it never happened because it was too labor-intensive--i.e.,
horridly expensive. It simply wasn't possible to monitor everyone,
everywhere, all the time, and properly index and cross-reference that
info. Now, however, what ECHELON did for ecomm, this may do for
people. Assuming it can be made to work reasonably well. As to
facepainting, etc.--it will simply be outlawed, like those ski masks
and hoods. Except, perhaps, on Halloween.

  And no, I'm not advocating acting
> like a sheep by allowing law enforcement agents to have better tools
> to do their jobs.
> With this law enforcement equipment, technologies like genetic
> engineering, and freedoms like legal drug use, it's easy to see
> slippery slopes everywhere that lead to disaster. Does that mean
> that we should just give up on them?

**Of course not--but we don't have to hand them permission to use
them against us.

> The key is to recognize and actively enforce the responsibilities
> upon the parties that stand to increase their liberties.

**One would hope. Best of luck to us.


> Regards,
> Chris Russo
> --
> "If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought
> or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet
> hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance
> which does harm."
> -- Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS, VI, 21

John Marlow

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